The story of the ugliest Christmas ornament

December 5th, 2016

It’s December! I’m behind in my holiday preparations, but at least I’ve raised my tree and unpacked the decorations. While doing so, I again noticed one ornament that’s been in my family’s Christmas inventory forever. From maybe 3rd or 4th grade (I’ll have to check).


What, you can’t tell what it is? This is a pull-tab flower ornament, the petals formed by a forgotten, dangerous method of opening a canned beverage. A little glitter is glued on the petals, and then some kind of marble is stuck in the middle.


The teacher who thought kids bringing in tabs to create some kind of Christmas daisy would obviously not be employed today. The sharp beer tab edges would’ve caused a bloody classroom incident. Alcohol-related content is forbidden, and this flower implies that someone in the household could’ve downed five beers!

Worse, the ornament triggers another memory. One of the few episodes I remember of that ancient TV series, Emergency, is where a man swallows a pull tab he inserted in his beer can before drinking. Childhood trauma to watch, for sure.


Ugliness and danger aside, the pull-tab flower will continue to occupy a special place in my heart.

Because the back of the tree needs ornaments too…